Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development (WeSchool) along with NINA foundation, a 12 year old NGO established for the rehabilitation of friends with spinal cord injury celebrated the 5th Spinal Injury Awareness Day on June 25, 2013. The ceremony was held at the WeSchool campus in Mumbai. Shri Kiranbhai Jani from Ambaji, Gujarat was felicitated with the ROCKSTAR AWARD and Smt. Padma Patil from Akola, Maharashtra received the WILLSTAR AWARD.
These awards are a symbol of the will power and unrelenting spirit of people with spinal cord injury who have carved their own path to success in spite of endless physical hardships. It showcases the strength, pride and fearlessness with which they have faced life to become independent and provide a beacon of hope to others.
The evening was graced by the presence of Chief Guest Padmbhushan Smt Rajashree Birla, Director, Aditya Birla Group, Prof. Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool and Dr Ketna Mehta, Editor and Associate Dean –Research, WeSchool and Trustee, NINA Foundation. WeSchool is the academic partner of NINA Foundation.
Dr Pragya Ram,Group Executive President –Corporate Communications &CSR -Aditya Birla Group, Padmashri Kanubhai Taylor who runs a school for the disabled, Shri Ketan Sutar ,Undersecretary –Govt of Gujarat, Dr Shekhar Bhojraj, Consultant Spine Surgeon -Lilavati Hospital,Dr Parinaz Humranwala and other trustees of NINA Foundation were also present on the occasion.Friends who braved all odds of spinal cord injury to fight and survived for the sake of their family and society were felicitated on the occasion. Aligned with their belief and constant effort of giving back to the society the event was a reminder of the true meaning of courage.
While applauding the achievements of the awardees Mrs Rajashree Birla, Director, Aditya Birla Group, said, “I am extremely happy to be present here today and take this opportunity to thank NINA Foundation for their invaluable support and contribution. You have all gone through and perhaps continue to go through the most trying circumstances physically and emotionally. What is truly inspiring is that after the initial phase you have faced the challenges with equanimity and fortitude.
You have all found light, in what many would have construed as darkness and you have not let darkness cloud your spirit .The key lesson here is that life affirming thoughts have a power to heal. Negative emotions can only be destructive “She cited the examples of Actor Christopher Reeves and the legendary Scientist Stephan Hawking, both of whom rose above their physical limitations and soared to unimaginable heights.
“WeSchool creates an environment that embodies its core values of: Passion, We Link & Care, Result Oriented Process Driven Work Ethics and Breakthrough Thinking & Breakthrough Execution. We look forward to nurturing the global Citizen leader not only through our inventive academic programs but also by changing their lenses so that they are able to recover the trust deficit created by the economic crisis and work with sensitivity and empathy for the benefit of all stakeholders in the global society. With Diversity and inclusion becoming buzzwords, our association with NINA Foundation is very important to us as it is a manifestation of our beliefs and core values” said Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director-WeSchool, while saluting the will power and spirit of the friends with spinal injury.
Dr Ketna Mehta, Editor and Associate Dean –Research, WeSchool, who spearheads NINA Foundation with admirable courage, had a message that was full of optimism and hope. “We are on wheelchairs but we are subtly changing the rules by creating awareness, publishing our success stories, taking our members for outbound programs, we are becoming role models by participating in activities like the Mumbai Marathon, and many more. We believe in positivity and optimism, and that makes us successful”.
Apart from Kiranbhai Jani and Dr Padma Patil, two young paraplegics, Sanika Shashane and Dinkle Shah were felicitated and awarded educational scholarships at the hands of Dr Bhojraj for getting good results in HSC, while Nisha Gupta (In absentia) was gifted with an active wheelchair by NINA Foundation.
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